Orbitz says it is less a travel agency and increasingly sees itself as a travel rewards company with programs such as Orbitz Rewards and a similar scheme recently launched for ebookers.
During an earnings call to discuss Q3 results for the period ended September 30, 2014, chief executive Barney Harford said the OTA's investments in technology, mobile and B2B and enabled it to "achieve a leadership position" in three areas including loyalty.
Harford said it had been another strong quarter for Orbitz Worldwide as he announced a 15% revenue increase year-on-year to $253 million with about eight percentage points TPN, acquired from Travelocity at the end of February.
Orbitz also reported EBITDA of $46.8 million and a 19% increase in room nights.
Chief financial officer Michal Randolfi said the company expected full-year revenue growth of between 9% and 10% with currency exchange rates and a "stepped up level of investment" impacting previous guidance on Q4.
Interesting to note that Randolfi also said the company wanted to keep some cash buy to give it flexibility for possible acquisitions which would be "additive from a technology or geography perspective."
Harford went on to talk about the company seeing a "disruptive opportunity" to use loyalty to differentiate itself. Orbitz Rewards was unveiled a year ago and the OTA says it will have three million members by the end of the year.
He also said early signs for ebookers Bonus+ were positive and that Orbitz would continue to seek ways to work further with suppliers and destinations so that travellers could earn further rewards.
Mobile was another area highlighted during the call with the company saying just over one third of hotel bookings came from mobile devices, an increase of six points from a year ago.
Questioned on possibilities of working with TripAdvisor and its instant booking feature as well as TPN partners participating in it, Harford said historically the company had not worked with these models and that it is something the company thinks about.